HARRY NORTON – LIVING THE DREAM

Harry Norton is very much a young man in a hurry. Having arrived in Europe a few years ago, the Australian was teamed up with another unknown in Tom Vialle, Norton the mechanic and Vialle the rider, and together they scored a MX2 World Championship.

With that success, Norton was then moved into the role of technical responsible for the Red Bull KTM Factory team and then late last year, given the position as team manager, taking over that position from Antonio Cairoli, who had moved onto Ducati, as team manager.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Norton though, as he tried to figure out the different weather, different culture and being involved in a series that was something he had never worked in before. MXGP isn’t child’s play, although Norton has clearly stepped into his own little playground and having fun with it.

I had never been to Europe,” Norton said. “I had travelled a bunch in US and Canada, like for personal stuff, but I had never been to Europe. My boss in Australia Rob Twyerould, he has been to Europe many times and I think he has been with KTM more than 20 years. I said to him one day, Rob, I need to get out of here. I need to move to the next thing. I am not fussed if I go to Europe or America, but I want to make that step. I ended up here, in Europe.

For sure, his arrival in the later stages of winter back six years ago, Norton felt overcome with excitement, but also surprise at the difference to his lifestyle back in Australia. What did stand out though, was the machinery he would be working on, and that was more than enough to make those cold nights in Austria a little warmer.

It was a massive culture shock. Moving from Australia to Austria also. I would say living the Belgian life is easier than Austria, it was a big culture shock mate. However, I came here with a super open mind, and I just wanted to learn, have fun, work on some cool bikes. I have always been interested in the process of how teams work. That was one of the big reasons I wanted to come here. I love the process of, why are teams successful and the Red Bull KTM factory team was and still is, pretty successful group of people.

Being team manager means having his eyes on the whole group and making sure that everyone is run smoothly. From the riders, the mechanics and also the position he left to become team manager, the technical responsible job.

As team manager I work with all the riders. Only team manager and we have eight mechanics on the team and Stefan Simpson, who looks after a lot of the technical things in the team. Doing a lot of the organization. He isn’t coming to as many GPs as a typical technical responsible normally would, but he will be on control of a lot of the organizing of the technical side and working behind the scenes. Our team is a little different than most, as we have two workshops in two countries, so we have a lot of logistics and Stefan is behind all that.”

Now, as the team packs their bags and gets set to board a plane to Argentina, the real pressure will arrive, as the Red Bull KTM factories MXGP efforts prepare to chase the MXGP and MX2 World Motocross Championships. Living the dream is something that Norton is living right now, but the hard work has just begun.

Photo Credit : Ray Archer

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

News

Pages

The latest episode of the acclaimed documentary series Behind The Gate is now available on MXGP-TV, giving a full

When Red Bull GasGas factory rider Jorge Prado failed to win the Saturday qualification race at round one of the

Home to one of the most spectacular venues on the calendar, the fourth round of MXGP that took place at the foot of the saw-toothed Dolomite mounta

PIETRAMURATA (Trentino) 14 April 2024 – One of the classic venues of the MXGP World Motocross Championships, the

Related news

The latest episode of the acclaimed documentary series Behind The Gate is now av

When Red Bull GasGas factory rider Jorge Prado failed to win th

Home to one of the most spectacular venues on the calendar, the fourth round of MXGP that took pl